Isotopic Analysis At Nw Basin & Range Region (Kennedy & Van Soest, 2007)

From Open Energy Information

Exploration Activity: Isotopic Analysis At Nw Basin & Range Region (Kennedy & Van Soest, 2007)

Exploration Activity Details
Location Northwest Basin and Range Geothermal Region
Exploration Technique Isotopic Analysis- Fluid
Activity Date
Usefulness useful regional reconnaissance
DOE-funding Unknown

The correspondence of helium isotope ratios and active transtensional deformation indicates a deformation-enhanced permeability and that mantle fluids can penetrate the ductile lithosphere, even in regions where there is no substantial magmatism. Superimposed on the regional trend are local, high 3He/4He anomalies indicating hidden magmatic activity and/or deep fluid production with locally enhanced permeability, identifying zones with high resource potential, particularly for geothermal energy development. In order for geothermal systems to develop and mine the heat source naturally, adequate fluid sources and deep permeable pathways are a necessity. The deep pathways provide access to high temperatures that can drive fluid convection cells. He isotopes provide a quantitative or, at least, a qualitative estimate of deep permeability from surface measurements, and anomalies superimposed on regional trends can identify potential resources.


Additional References